Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Heat and the Geek

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

Living with an engineer is an interesting experience.
We heat part of our home with a pellet stove.
It provides efficient (very important to geeks), radiant warmth appreciated by all members of the family.
For the past few weeks, the pellet stove has been cranky, and did not ignite readily when the thermostat--of course it is hooked up to a thermostat--called for it. We had to fiddle with it. On Sunday, it refused to ignite at all, no matter how much I fiddled with it.
My husband, the engineer to the rescue.

First, we tried trouble-shooting using the list of common problems in the owner's manual.

Apparently, our problem was not described precisely in the owner's manual. That yielded a geek-complaint.
Engineers do not want simplistic explanations.
They want schematics that show them exactly how something works.
So today, the Geek took over the breakfast nook.
His office is--well--chaos is too mild of a word.

After several phone calls to the dealer and the manufacturer, as well as some more grousing about inefficient instructions... was time for the specialized tool set to be brought out.

Another phone call yielded grousing about the costs of parts.

The ignitor element was removed and carbon build up was brushed off with a wire brush.

A ceramic screw was thoroughly cleaned to insure proper contact between the wires and the ignitor.

Careful updates were made to the instruction booklet so that "any idiot" could repeat this repair.

A phone call to the manufacturer was made in order to give helpful instructions for future editing of the owner's manual.

Wild waa-hoo's from the dining room served to gather the family so that the, Engineer could demonstrate exactly how the pellet stove worked and how he had saved us money and a trip to town by two simple repairs.

As the stove was lit once more, the family got a demonstration on how the thorough cleaning and proper repair had made the pellet stove even more efficient than before. We had been operating at less than optimal efficiency! This information drew a collective gasp from the geeks of the family.

Armed with his newfound knowledge from the repair of the stove, Our Hero went whistling off to see if he could get the gas fireplace to operate more efficiently, too.

Efficiency. It's a beautiful thing.


Frankie said...

Oh my gosh, this made me laugh. I, too, am married to an engineer. ;-) (I even snorted when I read they want a schematic! I soooo get that.)

Tell your hubby good job! =)

Amie said...

Oh gosh, if only my husband had a tiny bit of that. He is more likely to smash something than fix it.

Brent said...

Well, as an engineer myself...all of that sounds perfectly rational. Heh, ask Steph ( sometime, I'm sure I do similar things around here.

Yes, she now has me looking at your blog now and then and chuckling at our foibles.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Frankie--they are amazing creatures who can get a folding bed into the enclosed bed of a pick-up truck in a single bound.

Amie--Bruce would never smash something, but one engineering foilable is "design flaws." These are found everywhere and create great angst for members of this species.

Brent--Well of course it's perfectly rational. How else would the world get to be a better place? The upside: engineers are cute and the dishwasher works perfectly every time. I am sure Steph appreciates that very much. Congrats on the house sale!


Gotta love that engineer's watch!